Showing posts from January, 2019

Mistress, the LA Ad Agency That Named a Conference Room After Monica Lewinsky, Eschews Racy Heritage for the Mainstream

The award-winning LA creative shop Mistress — which made a splash a few years ago with its work on Mattel's Hot Wheels and more recently when it partnered with Discover Los Angeles on its "Everyone Is Welcome" campaign following President Trump's travel ban — has now rebranded itself as The Many. I suppose I can understand the agency wanting to make this change: The original, provocative name, dating back a decade, was inspired by its having done project work on the sly for brands working behind the backs of their AORs — like a dude cheating on his spouse with a mistress, get it? Considering the genesis of the business, it's probably not a surprise it's never shied away from taking risks with its work, which is why it's been able to attract clients like Netflix, TripAdvisor, PayPal and Coca-Cola and why Ad Age named it Small Agency of the Year three years running. The repositioning signals that the agency is no mere side piece any longer. Explain

What's the Real Reason Adam Moss Is Leaving New York Magazine? Because He's Not Allowed to Be a Journalist Anymore

When an editor as universally admired as Adam Moss leaves a thriving magazine like New York and its family of fabulously successful digital offshoots at the relatively young age of 61 — even though, admittedly, his is a business increasingly run by teenagers — all purportedly because he's tired or was reminded of the fragility of life after a bicycle accident, something smells fishy. We are talking about the best magazine editor of our time, his successes having been well documented in the New York Times piece announcing the news. He is that rare editor who maintains the highest standards, produces stuff people actually want to read, wins awards for it, and who performed the herculean by spinning off that content into a stable of well-read and profitable websites. For those of us who write about the media business, reading that Adam Moss is leaving New York is like reading that God is dead. Reading it also makes you wonder, what's the real story? None of us is naive eno

Murder'd: Your Hook-Up App Could Kill You (Or, Meet My Friend, the S&M Psychopath)

Having been blamed for everything from stress, depression and ADHD to bad posture, eye strain and even the shrinking of our brains, we know the internet is bad for you. We also know now that it can literally kill you. It's been a busy week for cybercrime, especially for cases in which gay men were the victims. In Brooklyn, a former male model was sentenced  Thursday to 12 years in prison for the stabbing death of a man he met on the gay dating app Jack'd — an app that has a long history of nefarious users. And in Dallas, two men were charged with using another hook-up app, Grindr, to lure guys who were then beaten and robbed. Unfortunately, such stories are nothing new. The internet and all those looking-for-quick-love apps have for some time been a dark tool for criminals seeking their prey. It's not only gay people who are in danger, of course — countless individuals of every gender, race and sexual orientation have been victimized by shady characters they met on

Remember, We Are All Really Just Salesmen

What do you think the Devil is going to look like? The subject of sales is on my mind. I am writing a piece on what consumer brands need to know to market (sell) their products in Asia — no small feat considering there are two dozen official languages in India alone. I am reading all the coverage and commentary about Trump's big televised sales pitch last night for his beloved (and pointless) wall, thinking of the people (including some I know personally) whose paychecks are being held hostage because of this stunt. (I'm more than a little pissed at the broadcast networks for carrying a political speech in prime time. Even they are terrified of the guy. But I guess the networks, being run by businesspeople, are beholden not so much to their responsibility to the public as to their ratings and their relationships to the mighty and powerful — in other words, sales.) I'm hardly the first person to make the point, but everything, everything is sales. If you're an adve

How Parker Posey Taught Me to Focus on What I'm Good At — and Strangle the Rest

I was visiting my mom a while back when one of those singing competition shows came on the television. As we listened to some tone-deaf Whitney Houston wannabe's screeching, mother just winced and shook her head. "Everybody thinks they're a singer," she sighed. I feel the same way about writing — everybody thinks they know how to do it, that their own personal histories or the random, amusing thoughts that pop into their feeble brains are worth sharing. Social media has, of course, made the situation so much worse, giving literally any nobody a platform. Andy Warhol had no idea how right he'd be — though those 15 minutes have dragged into an endless, merciless hell, a sellout shitshow that will play forever and ever. Narcissism is the social disease du jour, and Facebook is a box of Trojans riddled with pinpricks. Which brings us to Parker Posey. I've always enjoyed the work of this comic actress. Her offbeat supporting roles in movies and TV programs